Living in Panama
- Panama is rated one of the top three Latin American countries in terms of quality of life: health, education, and economic well-being. For North Americans and Europeans Panama has become one of the preferred retirement destinations and /or locations for the purchase of a second home.
- There are many reasons why Panama is fast becoming one of the most popular destinations for retirees around the world. Many prospective visitors arrive at their decision to move to Panama through a process of elimination. That is, individuals often go through a process of asking questions (like the ones below) about each and every country that might suit their needs.
- Panama has one of the best retiree incentive programs in the world, including discounts on air travel and restaurants, among others. Retirees can also bring their household goods into Panama free of importation duties.
- Panama City is often referred to as a “Second Miami” because of its sophisticated business district, modern healthcare facilities, and well developed infrastructure.
- Panama enjoys a unique geographical position, and, fortunately, unlike other tropical destinations, is not affected by natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, or typhoons.
- Panama has a strong, stable democracy and a tradition of democratic electoral process. Most, if not all, of the vestiges of military dictatorship have been eliminated and forgotten.
- Panama is a great place to live. In addition to a year-round tropical climate, two oceans, picturesque mountain villages, Panama Canal, jungles, islands, beaches and rivers, Panama has one of the lowest crime rates in this hemisphere.
- Panama offers one of the most modern economies in Latin America. In addition to the U.S. dollar as its national currency, Panama enjoys very low inflation and zero foreign exchange risk. There are no controls or restrictions on capital repatriations. Panama has over 140 banks from 35 different countries and is an international center for finance, insurance and shipping. Although Panama’s official, legal currency is the Balboa, the economy is fully dollarized.
- Including the Caribbean, Panama boasts Central & South America’s most modern and advanced telephone, fax, internet, and cellular communications infrastructure.
- Under the Panamanian Constitution, foreign investors and foreign-owned businesses enjoy the same legal rights and duties as local investors, including the right to participate in commerce and industry, as well as to carry out import and export activities.
The Panama Canal is the country’s best-known and most-valuable asset and its construction continues to be considered one of the greatest engineering accomplishments of all time. Approximately 50 miles (80 km) in length, the Panama Canal joins the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
Population and language
While Spanish is the country’s official language, English is widely spoken as a second language.
Many of the country’s physicians studied and/or received training abroad. The University of Panama is also recognized for offering one of the region’s highest-quality medical programs. In addition, Panama City is home to the Punta Pacifica Hospital, which is affiliated with John Hopkins Medicine International.
Further contributing to the country’s high health levels, tap water available throughout Panama is generally safe to drink, with a few exceptions in some rural areas.